Fat to Skinny and Still Not Me with 16 Days To Go

I have been struggling with writing this entry.  Keep in mind that we all view ourselves differently at times than the world does – and this has never been truer than when it comes to my reflection I see in the mirror.

The person I see in the mirror has changed some over the past decade, but the truth is that my body has changed drastically.  As a pre-teen and teenager, I struggled with my weight and the girl that I saw in the mirror was not very pretty.  I would see my friends and wish that I was more petite or more flat chested.  As the years passed and the weight struggle continued, I found guys that saw past the weight and they made me feel sexy and empowered.  I knew my weight was ballooning and not healthy.  I sought out advice and help from my doctor and he continued to tell me to just eat better and exercise more.  As I entered my 30s, the number on the scale was in the high 200s and it seemed like nothing I did would change it.  Dressing in busty tops and embracing what body I had was becoming easier for me.  I knew my husband loved me for me and NEVER EVER told me that I was fat or needed to lose weight.  My friends would compliment outfits and tell me I was pretty.  The terms overweight, obese or unhealthy never crossed their lips.  The only person that ever admitted that I really needed to do something was the doctor and his solution was always a pill or a diet.IMG_0593-0.JPG

By late 2005, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I decided to see a new doctor and get a second opinion on my health.  I was tipping the scale at well over 300 pounds.  At the time, when I looked in the mirror, I knew I was overweight, I just didn’t SEE I was that big.  I found a new doctor and right away I explained my struggles and he sent me for labs and to an endocrinologist and a different gynecologist.  My new team of doctors determined that I was diabetic, anemic and my hormone levels were unacceptable.  And lastly, I had some serious issues with my ovaries.  We got to work on all the above listed items.  I immediately started to read books on what I should and shouldn’t eat and changed my diet to best reduce sugars and increase iron in my life and that of my family.  My husband and son were very supportive.  I even enlisted a couple of friends to be people to hold me accountable when I made poor choices.  I soon also found out I had severe sleep apnea.  Exercise was never my most favorite thing but it was also never my enemy.  So walking as much as possible became a priority.  I started to lose a pound every couple of weeks.  Then, the game changer happened.

I went in for a check-up in June of 2006.  My doctor explained a procedure he would like me to consider called gastric bypass.  He had already spoken with my insurance company and since I had always had an annual physical and questioned my weight and my doctor has missed my diabetes (which I found out I was supposed to have been informed about at least 6 years prior) and my hormone deficiencies, they were willing to pay for most of the procedure.  It was all so much so fast!  The doctor said that once I met with the surgeon and start down the path it would 6 to 18 months until I would have the actual surgery.  Feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure, I told Steven everything.  He and I decided to go to a meeting to learn more about it and meet with the surgeon.  We figured I had plenty of time to change my mind over the next several month.  I made the call and we were scheduled for an education seminar in early July.  We went and got an appointment 3 days after the seminar with the doctor.  I met with the doctor.  I was a terrific candidate for the procedure.  I only needed a mental health evaluation and to meet with a dietician.  I did those both the next week.  By the end of July, I was on the list for the procedure.  I all happened so fast.  But I still believed I had time.  So, I took a trip to LA and spend some girl time with my bestie and our LA Family.  I had only been there a couple of days when I received the call that someone had cancelled their surgery and if I could be surgery ready in 11 days.  I said YES.  My bestie and some of her co-workers supported, encouraged and helped me to drop 10 pounds.  When I landed in LA. I was weighing 320 pounds. With the strict food program and exercise I was doing there, I dropped 10 pounds by the time went into surgery at the beginning of August.

Once I woke up from surgery, I was ready to get to work.  I made a promise to myself and God that I would do everything I was told and get myself healthy.  The idea of living to see Dru grow up and live his life and spend my golden years driving Steven crazy all crossed my mind.  Those were great reasons to do it all.  But I had read once, that losing the weight for a special occasion or person can be short-lived and that ultimately, you should do it for God and yourself.  He had created me for a purpose and that purpose would never happen if I can’t care for the ONE body He gave me.  I ate like I was told. I cooked new and interesting dishes.  And I exercised 5 days a week.  Most of my family and friends were supportive and encouraging as I moved forward every day.  I met some resistance from some that thought I was taking the easy way out or thought I had made my choice to have surgery on vanity.

Those things hurt me.  I never saw it as an easy way to do it.  Being cut open, having a piece of me removed and then living with all the side effects for life is not easy.  And to think I did it for vanity sake was the furthest thing from the truth.  As the weight came off and my body started to change, I became less and less confident about me.  The person in the mirror staring back at me was not me.  My body was shifting and changing in ways that I never expected.  I didn’t know how to dress this new body and was uncomfortable about all the compliments.  I was, very honestly, terrified!  I didn’t feel sexy or powerful.  I felt like people noticed me and I couldn’t understand why.  This thinner, twisted version of my former self was strange.  I just wanted to go back to being Monie.  Then I remembered I made a promise.  I refocused and made new goals and looked to those who have always had my back.  I ran my first run.  I did a leg of the Beach to Bay run in Corpus.  That was huge for me!!  And then I started to focus on a trip to Paris for a a friend’s wedding.

(null)I was shopping for dresses and outfits to wear for this trip that would take me the farthest I had ever been from home.  I spent days going from thrift to thrift store to hunt down clothing.  Mostly, I avoided spending money on clothes because I didn’t feel comfortable going into the mall and asking for help to find clothes.  I felt so awkward about what size I wore and what was okay on my new body.  Looking at myself in a mirror could be confusing!  If I was covered in clothing, I looked one way.  I looked “normal”.  Without full coverage clothing, skin hung in strange places and I looked like a saggy mess.  But, I continued to exercise and do my best to take care of myself.  At times, I would feel selfish putting my needs first.  When cooking meals, it became about what I wanted and should eat.  Grocery shopping was a much longer process with label reading and re-education on every trip.  All I knew was that I felt great and my body was working much more efficiently and I wanted to be the best me I could before I climbed on that plane.  Little did I know how much I needed this trip with my guys and some of my closest friends.

With bags packed and passports in hand, we left the USA and headed to France.  I thought this would be an eye opening and great educational experience for my 11 year old son.  My son loved France and did have an amazing experience, but I was the one that had the eye opening moment!  I realized that this body was different and strange BUT it was mine.  I knew it wasn’t what I had envisioned and I also began to see those that see me for me – would always see Monie.  The only person being super obsessed with the bizarre shape in the mirror was myself.  My friends and family that were in France with us treated me the same and loved me the same.  I was the same person I was the previous year before I had gastric and that would never change.  The “Thing” that needed to change was my mindset and this would not happen overnight.  What I did know for a fact was that I would do this and just had to continue to keep my Father God in the center and hold tight to my support system of family and friends.  Little did I know that this road would be a big mountain to climb, but at least I would be surrounded by a fabulous group of people and that the person staring back at me would always be me.

24 Days To Go and Yep, I Was MIA

Instagram pic collageSoooo I have been out of check for several days and I am so bummed out about it.  What I thought was just a cough from typical allergies at this time of year quickly turned into a crappy and annoying cough.  I finally had to give in and take myself to the ER.  Turns out the now overwhelming hacking and coughing had transformed into full blown pneumonia!!!  Gross and yucky……I hate being sick.  Over the weekend, I was still convinced it was just bad allergies, maybe at the most a sinus infection, so I went to a Casino Night fundraiser to support a wonderful friend and helped a friend teach to the kids at our church.  I thought missing a couple of days blogging was at the most a my bad and all the thoughts flooding my head would eventually make their way on the laptop screen.  Now, many days have passed and I have so many things to say and share and not being online made me realize that spilling some of my life online for the world to read is such a release.  So for those who have been reading – thanks.  I am sharing whatever God has placed on my heart and some of it so far has been funny, some of it touching and some of it a little hard to say but true.  All I know is that this is the Real Me – and for those who take me as I am – thanks for being in my life.  For those who don’t know me but have been reading along, I pray that this gives you some insight into someone else’s life and maybe shines some extra light into your day.

I am still under the weather and doing my best to get better as soon as possible.  I did get a great delivery from the DHL guy the other day.  Underoos read a previous blog and gifted myself and my guys each a pair of Underoos.  So, occasionally you might run into a little Spider-man, teen Batman, daddy Captain America or me as my crazy alter-ego Harley Quinn.  And to all my soon to be 40 somethings out there – 40 is gonna be one hell of a ride and I look forward to doing it with all of you dressed in your Underoos (hint hint about your possible b-day gift).

So I say peace out and kisses and wishes to you all!

Buffy Slaying Away for 33 More Days

To say that I am a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a bit of an understatement.  Those who know me well know how far this little love has gone.  (Notice how I avoid the word obsession) For those who do not know the joy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, here is a brief summary.  It was a series created by the brilliant Joss Whedon and premiered in the Spring of 1997.  The series revolves around a high school girl named Buffy Anne Summers who is the chosen girl for her generation that is gifted to be able to fight vampires and demons by night and deal with teenage drama with an attitude during the day.  And she has a group of friends and frenemies to help along the way.  The series came along when my son was less than 1 and it was a great way to take a break from the every day once a week.

Buffy became the one show that I always watched.  Even when I didn’t have a TV, I would always manage to find a friend who would record it on VHS (you know those things before DVR) and let me and Dru come over to watch.  As the years passed, I started to collect Buffy items and read the books.  I had those things all over our apartment.  Then I got hooked on the comics as well.  In fact, one of the reasons my friends pointed out, that Steven was the one, is that he bought me a Buffy novel that I was waiting for pay day to pick up.  I still keep that book in front of all the others facing out so that I can see it (that is such a girly thing to do).  Dru grew up with Buffy being a staple in our house and when Steven joined our family he reluctantly sat through every episode.  Even the repeats!

Why I love this show is a bit of understanding that it was more than just a girl killing vampires and dealing with demons to me.  The intimate relationships were complicated and friendships were intense.  Buffy’s family situation was confusing and not black and white.  I just found it so oddly comforting at that time in my life.  I would find these deep ideas and metaphors in episodes that I felt were about what was going on in our real world at the time.   And, yes, I DID love that every week there was some demon or vampire that had invaded Sunnydale and Buffy would overcome with so snarky words and cool death scenes.  The music was great and to this day I still get sad when I think about the break up between Buffy and Angel.  I have called my hubby a demon because there was an episode when Buffy is in college and she is convinced her roommate is a demon – why you ask? Because the chick’s nails grow like every day and she has to clip them.  Steven’s nails grow super fast and when he scratches me (by accident!) I accuse him of being a demon.  Makes me laugh and is a bit twisted but he just ignores me.

My love of Buffy has spread to all facets of our lives.  My snake was named Spike.  And I had the coolest females rats named Cordelia and Willow.  And my super sweet princess (a little black and white wired hair terrier mix) is named Buffy Anne.  I named her that because she is a tough little thing and a total survivor.  So to me the name was quite fitting.  Dru loved the character Angel and when he left Sunnydale and got his own spin-off, it was a guaranteed night of mommy/son bonding time.

Now, my youngest son, who was born like 5 years after the show ended, is named Zander and I have had people assume he is named after one of the characters on the show as well.  BUT, I love to point out that the character’s name was actually Alexander and his nickname was Xander.  Z has seen Buffy and while I was pregnant I even watched the entire series start to finish.  There are times now when it is on or I am binge watching that Z will go look for our dog and tell her that she is on TV.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of the show or any of the cast.  I have watched every show/ movie that has had someone from the show.  And I discovered the genius of Joss Whedon that I have passed on to my boys.  Buffy is the reason we have watched everything Joss has ever done.  We have found some comedies that had former cast members or tuned into a show that we have never seen just to see form Buffy stars.  I love that any given week I can watch TV and catch a glimpse of something that takes me back to Buffy.  And I look forward to Buffy being around in some form until I actually get old – like 95 years old.  Until then, if I’m sick or need a pick me up, just throw on some Buffy and I am all good.

Only 34 More Days and I Am A Bitch

bitch
This picture was from this past weekend – Saturday, January 17 at F Bar

How many of you remember the song Bitch by Meredith Brooks from 1997?

I was 22 years old and this song was my instant favorite.  Of course, the title helped to attract my attention.  I guess you could say I have a bit of history with the word Bitch itself.  The first time I remember saying this word was when I was in maybe 2nd grade (a story I think my mom tells much better) and had just gotten in trouble and been sent to my mom.  My mom and her super hearing heard me mutter “bitch” in reference to her.  She marched in there and called me out on what I had said.  I tried to deny it but she wasn’t having it.  Mom then proceeds to explain to me what a bitch means by definition.  She told that a bitch is what you call a female dog.  Or a word used to describe a not nice type of woman and is she either of those things.  I was scared out of mind and thought I was a goner for sure.  I just ended up being grounded and really disappointing my mom for using such horrible language that I didn’t know how to use and to not do it again until I could basically admit to having said it.

Fast forward to me being a young adult, I was now developing a bit of a reputation both at work and in play.  Bitch was my new title.  The title at work was not a great compliment.  In fact, my hubby says that he recalls that on his first day of work our co-worker told him to only call me by Monie not my legal first name and to watch out because I could be a real bitch.  This title signified someone who did whatever it took to complete a job, had high standards on how things were done and did not have a problem with throwing people under the bus who did not do the same.  That was me!  Now, I had friends and was loyal but I couldn’t stand it when people did things half-ass.  I was a bit of an overachiever and expected everyone to be the same way.  When it came to play, the title was the description of a party girl that shouldn’t be crossed.  This one was more of a compliment.  I loved to party and enjoyed dating A LOT!  At the same time, I didn’t mind pissing people off or getting someone kicked out of a bar because they were messing with mine or my friends’ night out. I was a little crazy and not afraid to open my mouth and tell someone what I thought.  And I would protect my friends no matter what.  So needless to say, I started to embrace my title.  Then came this song and I started to wonder if it was a description of me.

And I decided it was.  I was already a single mom who was unapologetic about choices I had made in having and raising my son.  I loved to tease men and be unpredictable.  I thought all this made me a strong and independent woman.  And if that meant people saw me as a bitch – well too damn bad!!!  I thought the only people that mattered where the ones who already were a part of my life and if anyone else wanted in – they better just get used to this chick.  Slowly, of course, things in my life changed.  People started coming into my life who cared about me but called me out on my behavior (thanks Friends!) and helped me realize that my life still held potential and being nice and letting more people in did not make me weak.  I had no idea what God was doing in my life through all these people and things.  My title of Bitch was slowly fading away and that was a little scary!  By the time 30 years old was coming up, I had started to see me in a different light and that was as a Princess.  I even had a Royal Ball for my birthday.  Had the “bitch” really left?  Did this mean I was settling down?  Or even scarier – calming down?  NO

I still love the song Bitch and am glad Meredith Brooks co-wrote it and shared it with the world.  I am not sure what those ladies where thinking or how their lives going when this song was brought to life. But I do know that it means more to me now then it did at 22.  When I hear the lyrics, I realize I am still a bitch and really feel no shame to it.  There really are days when I can’t stand the world I live in either because war makes me sad or people do unbelievable and hauntingly horrible things to each other or I just had a really crappy day.  I still can be tough and have had to learn when and where to have thick skin.  On the other hand, I can be loving and caring and will be submissive.  I truly am a sinner and pray that when I live transparently that is as close as I can get to being a saint (Heehee).  For some like my kids who haven’t done as asked I can be their hell, but I know I can also be their dream when I do exactly what I know will make their day.  I can still tease and be a goddess because that is one of the things he loves about me.  I am pretty sure that who I am right now will be different in another 10 years.  And that’s a great thing.  I want to change – not as often as the seasons- just often enough to keep life interesting.  Does this mean I can’t grow-up?  I’m not sure.  I am not as spontaneous as I once was or in a hurry to telling someone exactly what I think of them.  I think this means I have grown up some, but I am still not sure that I can let go of the title, it may just be different.  There are times I think I am okay with being Princess Bitch.  My definition for that is that I can be a bitch without you knowing it until way after the fact.

So, yes, I’m a bitch – either take it or leave it

Mommy Break and 36 Days To Go

Right now, I am enjoying a little break from the everyday with the boys. My girlfriends and I are in Houston and finding out that their are a whole different set of things we enjoy when away from home.

Going shopping at the mall or honestly anywhere is usually such a chore. Or I go with a super specific agenda and want to get it over with as soon as possible. It is in and out. The only time I enjoy spending time shopping is when Steven and I go to Wal-Mart for our couple time away from the boys. Yes, it’s weird but for some reason it is entertaining. Now, being away from home with no agenda or schedule has been interesting. The girls and I wandered around a farmers market and looked at stuff and tried new foods and laughed about the most random things. Then we decided to hit up the Thrift store. I bopped around singing songs looking at clothes and accessories I might like as well as some that I thought would just be hilarious to wear in public. Now, I would never do this with the boys because it would annoy Dru and he would want his mom to behave. Because I am embarrassing them. I remember when I would feel like that with my mom. Sorry mom – I get it now. You just wanna enjoy shopping and that makes it entertaining. I didn’t care who saw me or what they were thinking I wasn’t hurting anybody and no one was recording me to put in Cyberspace to embarrass my child. Then It was off to the Galleria Mall. We were all hungry and thought we would just the food court and visit H&M (me loves this store) to look around and then leave. Short and sweet! That is not exactly how it went….we had lunch and took our time eating and watching the ice skating. Then we started to make our way to look around for H&M. We ended up stopping in shops that looked different or because we saw a really good sale or one of us would just wander off. Before any of us knew it, 5 hours had passed by and we didn’t even realize it. We decided to hike back to the jeep and head back to the hotel. That never would have happened with the kids.
So, our day started a little later than normal, but without the “mom mom mom mama mommy” to take us in many directions, we still got a ton done and had energy to keep going and go out to the bar. And I did my make up twice in one day!!! I haven’t done that since back in the day when I did it cuz I worked a day job and then a night job and I was doing it at a frantic pace not all nice and chill like I have this weekend. It is the little things that make me happy.
Do I kiss my kids? – yes, just don’t tell them I said that because that might make them use it against me. Just kidding, boys!!
Do I miss my Honey? Um…..yes!
It just sometimes a little mommy break recharges my free spirit and let’s the sillies get out so I don’t explode later.
I head home tomorrow and I am pretty sure I will be back to getting stuff ready for school and starting to pick up from the weekend and try to see what college prep stuff we need to work on this week, but right now I will stay in my little blissful place and maybe get some reading done.

37 Days To Go and Thinking about Mexico

scan0003As a kid, heading down to Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, was just a normal thing to do.  My welita, tios, tias, and cousins all lived down there.  We would go down to visit on a regular basis from Corpus Christi.  I remember my Grandma Lupe taking bags of clothes we had outgrown to go give to our family.  The streets seemed to be covered in dirt and no one was ever dressed in cool clothes that were in style.  People walked everywhere. I didn’t find it exotic or exciting or that it was much of a get away.  I could never understood why people in movies and on TV would talk about how great it would be to live on the beaches of Mexico.  I hadn’t been to the beaches of Mexico, I had only been to the rancho and homes of family members.  We did do a lot of shopping but not the tourist kind.  Instead of buying postcards and shirts that say things like “my family went to Mexico and all I got was this shirt”, we picked up low cost alcohol and antibiotics.  If it was around Easter, we might get to bring back cascarones.  We spent time visiting grandma and trying to understand what the heck she was talking about- cuz it was all Spanish and you know I am not exactly Miss Espanol.  But I learned a ton from those trips.  I learned to appreciate all I had and was given.  Air conditioning is not something everyone has all over the world and having a window unit and fans was a really special thing.  My parents exposed me to different worlds and helped me to see that not everyone has all the same things.  Once we moved away to San Antonio, the trips became less.

This world today is very different from the one I grew up in and there are things that I will never get to share with my boys.  The ranch were my great grandma, my Welita, lived I will probably never see again.  A trip to that part of Mexico is not a part of my oldest son’s memories and more than likely my little one will never see Mexico as a child.  It does sadden my soul.  I pray that in my lifetime, crossing the border and walking the streets will be something we can enjoy and experience together. Viva Mexico and thanks for the memories grandpa and grandma and mom and dad!!

Some Tough Old Broads – 38 Days To Go

Some of these ladies shaped who I am!
Some of these ladies shaped who I am!

I grew up surrounded by a whole bunch of uncles and 2 aunts, but they were all basically still kids and young adults when I was small.  So, most of the mature adults were WAY mature in terms of age.  My Tias or aunts were actually either my great aunts  or 2nd cousins.  Growing up in Corpus in the late 70’s and early 80’s was an experience.  Half the time, I wasn’t sure who was related to who or how because everyone was either primo/prima, comadre/compadre, or tio/tia.  And those titles did not necessarily properly define who they really were in the family tree.  Honestly, I was already an adult when I was still learning that half the people I thought were related to by blood were either “old family friends” or “from the neighborhood” and had no blood relation at all.  But, hey, we are Mexican and we are all related some how it seemed!!  Now most of the lessons on my “family tree” on my mom’s side came from my Tias.  First of all, I was way into elementary school before I figured out that the names we called them weren’t even their names just their nicknames.  We had Grandma Vita,  Aunt Chata, Coca/Tisika, Aunt Fannie, Aunt Ester and my Grandma Tillie.  And then there was my Aunt Janie, who is actually my mom’s 1st cousin, therefore my 2nd cousin.  Sadly of all the women I just listed, the only one still with us is my Grandma Tillie.  All the ladies listed before my grandmother were her sisters.  And there are times that referring to them as ladies makes me giggle.  They were some tough old broads and crazy as hell!!  And I give them a ton of credit for who I am and who I wanted to be.  They inspired me, scared the crap out me, disciplined me, loved me, shared their various views of the world with me and taught me that no two women should ever be alike.

Grandma Vita and Tisika lived together in my great-grandparents home (we all called it the Old House) and never married, but those ladies had a hand in raising a couple of generations worth of kids.  Grandma Vita would make tortillas with butter and Tisika would make us laugh, but they didn’t put up with ANYTHING and if you got hurt doing something you shouldn’t – be prepared.  They would patch you up without sympathy and tell you go ahead do it again and see what happens.  We usually opted out on the repeat.  They loved to have a house full of family.  And man o man, Tisika was quite the smoker and she did enjoy her rum or beer while hanging out with her sisters.  Grandma Vita was always the mother hen.  Just typing her name puts a smile on my face.

Now, my Aunt Chata was the youngest and was frequently referred to as baby (a second nickname) by my grandma.  She was married to a loving man and I happen to think super awesome uncle named Rey.  They adopted two kids (which took me years to realize).  Aunt Chata had false teeth and would take them out and bites us.  Kinda gross but also really funny.  She loved her kids unconditionally and loved all the rest of us the same.

Now, my sweet Aunt Ester took care of my Aunt Fannie who had a serious stroke when I was still very young, until my Aunt Fannie passed away.  Aunt Fannie had been a nurse and when I was just a tiny baby, she decided to pierce my ears.  To this day, when I wear a pair of earrings that just don’t sit quite right, I can hear my family telling me the story of how my ears got pierced and all I can do is wonder why Aunt Fannie couldn’t have made them a little more even.  When we would go to visit Aunt Fannie and Aunt Ester, it was always such a great time.  I would help to feed Aunt Fannie and get to see how a true servant loves and cares for someone.  I have this beautiful image still in my mind when I think of Aunt Ester and how she would undo her perfect braids and then brush her long, soft, grey hair in front of her mirror.

Then, there was my Aunt Janie.  She taught me some of my favorite cooking secrets and recipes to this day.  I spent many days and nights around my Aunt Janie and Uncle Roger so that I could play and hang out with my awesome older cousins Lori and Mel.  We were each one year apart and I was the youngest.  God bless my Aunt Janie for taking us on the bus downtown to the stores to shop for clothes or to run errands.  She would spend hours in the kitchen to make pan de polvo for every family members birthday, wedding, or baby shower.  And I shared a birthday with her!!! 

Lastly, there is Grandma Tillie….. She is a different kind of grandma.  The lady could dress and walk and talk like a lady.  She knew how to act in proper company and taught me what she could.  But then the next day, she would be dressed in her raggedy, comfy fishing clothes and we would be headed to the beach to fish or out to the T-heads.  After a hot day of that or working on her garden (she could grow some gorgeous roses), she would come inside to have an ICE COLD beer in (and this is important) a frozen glass beer mug that weighed a ton.  She cussed like a sailor, taught me to play cards and encouraged my love of sports.  She also encourage me to play the piano, would listen to me talk about my new favorite book or how I finally understood what Shakespeare was saying.  She would remind me that I didn’t need a man and I could do anything I wanted.

These ladies were strong, bold, loving, compassionate, intelligent and street smart.  I hope that one day my kids and nieces and nephews will look back at who I was and say “that Aunt Monie was a little crazy, but she always loved us”  because that is how I feel about this broads.